Saturday, September 7, 2013

Alaska Omnibus Part 4


We return to Hyder from Stewart after a long walk.
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A shaved line on the mountain is USA Canada border. At the left of line is Hydra and at right where the river enters into Portland Canal is Stewart.
We go in our room. We cook food in the kitchen; desi daal and chawal. While cooking we have a drink from the whiskey bottle that we bought from the bar across our hotel. Our ears are bothering us from morning because several mosquito entered in our ears and bit inside. There is a vinager bottle in the kitchen cupboard and in a cup I mix half vinegar and half whiskey and lie down on the bed and fill my right ear with this liquid.
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Fox in Hyder
Rajan is watching it in horror. I let the liquid stay in my ear for 5 minutes and then take a turn and let go all the liquid on a paper. 5 dead mosquitoes come out and I feel instant relief. Then I repeat this with my other ear with same result. Ranaj is now inspired with my this experiment and he also follows the procedure and removes mosquitoes from his ears. Our ears were giving such freaky feeling that now we are free from that torture.
Our food is ready and we eat food but don’t go out for a walk because although it looks like afternoon nevertheless it is midnight.
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Views from Cassier Highway
I cannot sleep in the sunlight so I hang extra bed sheets over the windows to make it dark and we sleep. We wake up at 7AM and it is sunlight again because day in summer is barely 4 hour long in Alaska. Ledum tea has done magic on our faces and we look normal.
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Mighty Sitka RIver
In the morning we make tea and left Hyder at 8PM because we have to drive at least 1000 kilometers to get to main Alaska Highway further in the north. Same Punjabi girl stops us at the border post and again it us the same action-replay, she is out to take the revenge on us but was aborted halfway by other immigration Officer gentleman who asked her to go back in the building.
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View of glacier from the road
He very politely said, “Welcome to Canada again.” and then he helped us to repack our car and as we were set to go, he said, “Hope you will find Canada very enjoyable. On the behalf of Crown, I say that we are extremely sorry for the inconvenience.”
“But Officer what about the mosquitoes of Canada?” I ask in humor.
“Oh! Yeah, you said you are going to Anchorage, you will soon know; our mosquitoes are very gentle.”
And it didn’t take us long that he was very correct.
As we drove I saw that Punjabi girl was staring at us with venomous eyes from the window of immigration office and wiping her tears with a tissue paper.
“You lucky dog,” I say to Rajan, “Someone loves you here.”
“Not me; it is you. You are single and she knows it very well.”
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A campsite at Cassier Highway
We hit the road again and in one hour we are on Cassair Highway. We drive towards Watson Lakes on the main Alaska Highway that begins from Dawson’s Creek (0 Kilometer) to Fairbanks (2700 Kilometer). Road was all wilderness, sometimes it passed over towering mountains full of glaciers and sometimes in the lowland marshes. We saw giant muse, foxes, woodland bison, Wild goats, wild sheep, reindeer, caribou, bears, wolves, bald eagles and many other unknown creatures. We passed countless lakes, some lakes were emerald colored. We passed a gold mine and one jade mine in the utter wilderness. Stores or petrol pumps were hundreds of miles apart. We passed mighty Sitka River and many many other mighty rivers.
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Cassier Highway
We entered on Alaska highway at 422 KM milepost (Dawson Creek was 422 KM and was 1400 Km). Anchorage was our destination. On the way we stopped to make lunch in the wilderness. And then stopped for a cup of coffee and also a couple of times for petrol. We entered on Alaska Highway after 5 hours and turned left towards Whitehorse. Stopped at a cafe in the wilderness after another 300 kilometers. It was 11PM of night and still bright sunlight. Cafe was in very serene location, by a crashing bubbling brook that was coming from a tall mountain. Since at many places the road was damaged and full of dust; our car was such full of dust that now it became difficult to look from the glasses. In the back I scratched on the dusty glass: “Alaska or Bust”
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Cassier Highway
We took water from the river, that was stinging cold and washed our car.
Then we went in the cafe and had a cup of coffee.
We came out and entered in our car but it refused to start. Solenoid only gave a clicking sound but motor didn’t turn. We tried several times but then restrained our-selves so not to drain off the battery.
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Glacier
We asked a man about what to do.
“Get it towed to either Watson Lakes or to Whitehorse,” he replied plainly.
Watson Lakes were more than 300 kilometers and Whitehorse was 600 Kilometers and towing alone was costlier than the value of our Toyota Corolla.
Other option was to discard the car to whomsoever wants it. Discard everything that we had in it except our backpacks and important papers. This choice was better than the first.
We went in the cafe and asked if someone wants our car for free.
She pointed to the 4 cars outside and tersely said, “Look at those cars, each one is discarded and we have no room for the next one. You must move your car from our property soon.”
“May be someone else is interested in our car.”
“Yeah May be, someone is at least 200 kilometers from here.”
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Emerald Lake on our way
We were in trouble and sun was about to set behind the mountain. I try to start the car again but now battery is almost drained and it barely clicks. Since our’s is an automatic transmission car so we cannot start it by pushing it.
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A River on the Cassier Highway
A word about why (may be) that Punjabi Immigration Officer behaved with us in such rough way:
I am seeing this phenomenon in all over America and Canada. American born or Raised people are very sorry that they are desi, they hate all desi and everything that is desi.
Unfortunately this phenomenon has already rooting in my own extended family abroad.
One of my best friend Mr. Sonu is in Vancouver, his landlord’s daughter often curse to him, “You all Indians are the same @#$%^%#$ ……”
Now she herself is a petite-petite Punjabi desi.
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Woodland Bison
Funnily a term is used for these youngsters: ABCD
American Born Confused Desi.
Mostly parents are to be blamed for their such condition. They do not consider themselves desi, Americans do not accept that they are Americans, they do not consider themselves a mixed culture.
They are confused. This breed is a stateless people.
When I came to America at the first time, I stayed with one of my uncles.
I was banned to speak Hindi with his little son.
Very first hot dog I saw in life my was in their freezer.
However my uncle and aunt are strictly vegetarians, moreover they consider onion and garlic too a non-vegetarian object (some Hindu Mythology).
See you again.



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